Optimism actually surrounds Minnesota Timberwolves this off-season

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40 games into the 2011-2012 NBA season and the Minnesota Timberwolves were actually competing for a Western Conference playoff spot.  An injury to Ricky Rubio derailed the T-Wolves surprising start to the season but proved that there is reason for optimism in Minnesota and that the team doesn’t need to make any drastic moves this off-season.  Still, a few upgrades could help them get back into post-season next year.

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Five Fake Trades for the Minnesota Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves are off to a respectable 7-10 start to the 2011-12 NBA season.

Ricky Rubio is showing that he has all the makings to be a superstar point guard. While Kevin Love is having one of the best individual seasons of any player in recent memory.

In watching the Timberwolves, there is an obvious surplus of average to above average players on the wing. And that’s not even factoring in the absence of injured Martell Webster and Malcom Lee.

While the Wolves could be considered a fringe playoff team, there’s a few moves that the Wolves could make to speed up the rebuilding process, and be considered a legitimate playoff team this spring.

Here are five fake trades that the Minnesota Timberwolves could make. [Read more…]

Minnesota Timberwolves Rumors: How They Acquire Kevin Martin

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The Minnesota Timberwolves have assembled a respectable squad with just 11 days until they open their season against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Before the lockout, the Timberwolves brought point guard Ricky Rubio over from Spain. They’ve  also signed both of their draft picks. Number two overall selection Derrick Williams, and second round pick Malcom Lee are both signed and ready to contribute right away.

Those three rookies will be joined by free agent signee J.J. Barea. The Wolves and Barea agreed to a four year contract just days ago.

The main piece that is missing is a scoring shooting guard. One name that has been tossed around in trade rumors all offseason (all two weeks of it) is Houston Rockets’ shooting guard Kevin Martin.

Martin would be a great addition to this young Timberwolves team, but how would they go about bringing in a player of Martin’s caliber?

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Minnesota Timberwolves’ Amnesty Options

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In the aftermath of the infamous labor talks between the NBAPA and the owners, there is an interesting clause in the new CBA. The amnesty clause.

The amnesty clause is similar to waivers, in that a team releases a player and has to pay out the remainder of the contract. But in the case of the amnesty waiver, the player’s contract doesn’t count against his former team’s salary cap.

This money can be used to avoid salary cap penalties or to sign free agents. This clause is often referred to as the “Get Out of Jail Free Card” for the owners. It allows for hideous contracts to be wiped clean off of the salary cap books.

In 2005, the Minnesota Timberwolves used their amnesty clause waiver on Fred Hoiberg. In 2011, the question is, who or what should the Timberwolves do with their amnesty clause. [Read more…]

Sources: Timberwolves to Sign J.J. Barea

The Minnesota Timberwolves have added another point guard.

The Wolves and former Dallas Mavericks’ point guard J.J. Barea are putting the finishing touches on a four-deal that would give Minnesota another viable option behind rookie Rick Rubio at the point guard position.

Barea became a household name in June when he helped spark the Mavericks off the bench en route to defeating of the Miami Heat to win the 2011 NBA Finals.

This move would give the T’Wolves options to ship off or amnesty Luke Ridnour’s 4-year 16-million dollar contract he signed an offseason ago. [Read more…]

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